Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

What Do Chaplains Really Do? II. Interventions in the New York Chaplaincy Study

What Do Chaplains Really Do? II. Interventions in the New York Chaplaincy Study

ABSTRACT. The current study analyzes data from 30,995 chaplain visits with patients and families that were part of the New York Chaplaincy Study. The data were collected at 13 healthcare institutions in the Greater New York City area from 1994–1996. Seventeen chaplain interventions were recorded: nine that were religious or spiritual in nature, and eight that were more general or not specifically religious. Chaplains used religious=spiritual interventions, alone or in conjunction with general interventions, in the vast majority of their visits with patients and families. The types of interventions used varied by the patient’s medical status to some degree, but the pattern of interventions used was similar across faith group and medical status. The results document the unique role of the chaplain as a member of the healthcare care team and suggest there is desire among a broad range of patients, including those who claim no religion, to receive the kind of care chaplains provide.

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